Don't buy the m43 system...

Discussion in 'Native Lenses' started by WT21, May 5, 2013.

  1. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    ...Buy the lenses.

    I see many posts -- on POTN, on DPR, all over -- that ask "should I go with m43 or xxx" or "I want a compact camera. Which system should I choose."

    I've been in m43 for going on 4 years now, along with trying many other systems. I think that question was valid a few years ago. Focusing on the bodies. Which camera is fastest. Which has best IQ, etc.

    I think now, though, that it's really about the lenses. I don't mean go m43 because it has better lenses, I mean get these lenses, and use an m43 body because that lens works on the body.

    For instance, for wildlife and hiking, I really love my P100-300. It's also outstanding for compressing a scene, and really gives you a wonderful, far-away look (not sure how else to express it). It is not the sharpest lens, but to get that tight angle of view with that lens' color and contrast in such a relatively lightweight package, this is the best option on the market today, any where.


    Or for walk-around and pj type work. Street shooting, and general documentary, I love my PL25. I love the way the bokeh, color, contrast, corners, size, af speed and brightness all work together. Maybe the Fuji 35/1.4 or the NEX 35/1.8 work similar, but I love the PL25 on it's own merits.


    And talk about small! I love the 9-18 in the summer for vacation shots. Putting the kids in fantastic wide-angle portrait settings, where they are upclose to the camera. But, I don't want to get bogged down with weight. How about the 9-18 and the PL25 on vacation? What a combo.


    I've seen other people's great work with the Oly 75 and the O45. For some reason, I prefer my Canon 85/1.8 for portraits, and my 70-210.

    So, for portraits, I bought a 6D, so I could use my preferred lenses. The lens choice came first, the body second. But for all of the other items above, I have a PL25, P100-300 and 9-18. It just so happens they don't fit onto my 6D, so I have an m43 body (or two) to use.
  2. Savas K

    Savas K Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 10, 2013
    Is it a fair statement to say that lenses drive the body? If a person wanted a 100-300; it would make sense to select a body that can help control the lens' use.
  3. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    I agree Bill,I am missing PL25 as I am not liking Panny 20 mm at all these days.
  4. Y2K

    Y2K Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 19, 2012
    That's a sound statement and I think it really applies to any system, not just m4/3. Lens is what usually matters most and not the body. Bodies depreciate and improve much faster then glass. I think it was a Nikon sales rep that once said that if one can't take great pictures with any modern cameras, the problem is not with the equipment.

    Love this shot by the way!

  5. gugarci

    gugarci Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 8, 2012
    Lyndhurst, NJ
    That's why I started with an E-P3 and have added nothing but lenses, EVF, and hoods. Olympus need to start providing hoods with their more expensive lenses. :frown:
    I have a 40-150R arriving tomorrow. The only other lenses I would add to my kit before I might start thinking about getting another body is the 17mm, 9-18 and I want a small flash. But I would also kill for the 75mm 1.8. :biggrin:
  6. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    I know this is conventional thinking, and it certainly was true back in the film days. Buy a stock of great glass and the body you used it with made almost no difference at all.

    But now with digital sensors, I'm not sure it always makes the most sense. Of course lenses hold their value better, but if you're looking for real improvement in IQ it often comes more dramatically via a change in body. If you've been using the old 12Mp sensor in an G1, for example, you'll be absolutely blown away with what your same lenses will produce with the OMD or GH3.

    Now if you already own a new-generation sensor (and I'm including everything from G3 and up) then you're probably right--the improvements in sensor are small compared to the advantages of better glass.
  7. Al.

    Al. Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2010
    Hull, East Yorkshire, UK
    I agree, I have not exploited the true potential of my GX1 sensor yet, I don't think I have taken any shot that I think I could have bettered with a newer sensor. So I am sticking to my present bodies and focusing on glass (excuse the pun)
  8. mh2000

    mh2000 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2010
    While I am still shooting my old E-P1 and taking photos that I am very happy with, the added resolution and better DR of the newer sensors would certainly be an improvement. Granted, for the size I print and my workflow, I'm not hobbled, but When prices come down I'm sure I'll be happy with the improved sensor cameras are in my price range.

    I shoot my E-P1 recognizing that it is not the "best," but even with the OMD there'd still be better...

    My most used lenses are the Oly 17/2.8, Sig 30 and Oly 45. Photography is about having equipment that is good enough to allow you capture your vision, not about having the "best" equipment possible. If you vision is so tenuous that it can only be realized with the very best equipment, it is probably not very strong... and possibly driven more by you love of equipment.

    best all!

  9. gugarci

    gugarci Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 8, 2012
    Lyndhurst, NJ
    Sorry I don't agree. If you can't take great images with the older sensor the problem is the photographer not the sensor. I've also taken a lot of great images with my 5 year old 10 megapixel LX3. The new sensor improves on high ISO and better dynamic range. I rarely shoot above ISO 800 any way and I have no issues with my E-P3 3200 ISO images. Dynamic range has never been an issue for me with my E-P3 or my LX3. If you expose correctly you can add anything your image lacks in DR in minutes using the LR local adjustment brush if the image needs it.

    Professional Photographer Thom Hogan who also owns an E-M5
    "Is it a bad thing to buy a generation behind? Not at all. From the very beginning, the m4/3 cameras were quite capable. I started shooting with an E-P1 in 2009 (see below) and have some very solid images taken with that camera in extreme conditions. But it's the age old story with consumer electronics: the status quo moves constantly. Over time we've gotten more pixels, better dynamic range, better handling of low light, better JPEG rendering (especially Panasonic), and more features. Every now and then we see blow-out prices on a handful of "retiring" m4/3 cameras. By blow-out, I mean as little as US$199 for a body. Such prices are another thing that confuses newcomers. Should they buy these older low-cost bodies or the much more expensive latest-and-greatest? If you really think you might make m4/3 your long-term system, the answer doesn't matter. Even if you buy a low cost body to start, the lenses in m4/3 are the real draw, in my opinion."
    A Guide to m4/3 | Sans Mirror — mirrorless, interchangeable lens cameras | Thom Hogan
  10. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    I see your point, but once again, I don't agree completely. If you're going to allow the photographer into the equation than clearly ANY camera is good enough. The reason we don't all shoot with camera phones is because we like the higher quality we can get from 'better' cameras, even given our limitations as photographers.

    (I mean certainly if I were to rank the reasons I don't get 'great images' I'd put I'M A BAD PHOTOGRAPHER at the top of the list . . . this doesn't mean I'm not interested in shooting bad pictures at higher resolution!)

    (j/k . . . I think you get my point. Just because I'm the limiting factor in my photographs doesn't mean I can't get enjoyment out of better gear.)

    Let me pose an example. Suppose you have someone presently shooting with a G1 and Oly 14-42mm MkI lens. Take the same image with: (a) an OMD with the same lens; or (b) the G1 with a Panasonic 12-35mm. I'd wager that that person would see a much bigger difference with the first combo than the second.
  11. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Well put. The simple reason I'm keeping my 5DII is because I can't quite replicate the 35/1.4 L or the 135/2.0 L with MFT. I keep wondering if the 75 will do the trick for the latter, but I may just save myself some cash and keep the MFT setup as the 'all rounder' (perfect, perfect travel system/landscape on the go system) and stop trying to fill the 'gaps' in my glass lineup. Did that with Canon, sold a good bit of it off again.
  12. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    This is a little closer to the point I was trying to make.

    I didn't mean to start lens/photog/body debate. What I am trying to say is that there are quite a number of lenses in the m43 system that are worth owning on their own merits, and that you would need an m43 body for.

    If I was responsible for selling m43 right now to someone, I would NOT start by talking about the sensor, bodies, handling, etc. I'd start by talking about the lenses. In the past, m43 discussions vs other systems was "well the sensors aren't great, but the P20 makes it worthwhile." Now, IMO, I can easily say "oh, you like to shoot birds or wildlife? Have you seen this P100-300? You'll need an m43 body as well" or "are you looking for a street/pj setup? Have you seen the PL25?" the fact that its part of m43 has, again IMO, less revance than it used to. They are simply great lenses, and they have the added bonus of being very conveniently sized.
  13. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Oddly enough I have the opposite perspective. Small capable high IQ bodies are what got me in, and what have kept me. Even the deeply flawed E-P2 offered good enough quality and a lot of possibilities in an excellent form factor, and things have gotten dramatically better since then.

    As to the lenses, 95% of my photos are shot with a mid-range zoom. I can't say I find any of the m4/3 options compelling. But I put up with the unwieldy and occasional unreliable adapted 12-60 and the less than stellar 12-50 because everything else works very well for me.

    Of course, if one is into UWA zooms, or fast short teles or street wide then the lenses are a much more significant draw.
  14. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Yes, we are certainly different in that perspective! Flawed or weak zooms drive me crazy. I don't think I've owned a kit lens in the last 3 years much longer than it takes to sell it on FM.
  15. gugarci

    gugarci Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 8, 2012
    Lyndhurst, NJ
    If they are shooting at low ISO in good lighting conditions and they are using the same exact lens, not 2 versions of the MK1 each mounted on a camera, the difference would be minimal. You don't think Pro's made and sold great images taken with 3 & 6 megapixels DSLR's when they were first released? Let's just agree to disagree and move on.

    One last item, check out the link below and check out that site. I came across it a couple of days ago and the information you can find under the categories is priceless!
  16. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I don't disagree, but here's the point I was trying to get across.

    If someone says "should I get NEX or m43 with the kit lens" I might say -- use a cell phone, or try out the RX100 or something.

    However, if someone said "I want to take better portraits" or "I am going hiking and would like to get some solid wildlife shots" I would say "you should try this great lens from Olympus, the 75/1.8" or "use the Panasonic 100-300. And then mention they also need a body, steering them to one of the newer ones.
  17. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    I agree. Getting good lenses will provide the most significant improvement in image quality. Much more so than upgrading a body.
  18. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    I sold completely out of m4/3 because of the bodies, not the lenses and bought back in for the same reason. For me, if a system were only about the lenses then I'd still have a Canon system and 11 L series lenses plus a bunch of others, which covered nearly all possible eventualities.

    For me, in the digital era, choosing a camera system is about the weakest link in the chain and in most cases, again for me, that's going to be in handling and portability. All systems (with the exception of NEX at the moment) have a selection of fine native lenses and there are several the have the lenses I want in a system. In fact I persevere with m4/3 even though a couple of the lenses I really want don't yet exist, evenif they're available in other systems because, for me, at this time, I'm not prepared to accept the compromises of those other systems just to fill a gap in a lens line up.

  19. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I'm with flash on this. Most systems (except, as flash says, NEX) have a good-enough line of lenses to cover most situations. Is the Canon 135L significantly better / worse than the Oly 75? The Nikon 70-200/2.8 better than the Panasonic 35-100? I think you could debate these all day and still not come to any conclusions. The point about MFT isn't the great lenses (but that helps!) - it's that it delivers excellent IQ in a small and lightweight package.

    I'd prefer to say "Don't buy MFT if ... you find the size and weight of your existing Canon/Nikon SLR to be acceptable".
  20. While having the right lenses is a big consideration, usually the first question I ask myself before going out is "can I get by without the E-M5?" If the answer is no, I'm not exactly missing out since my Micro 4/3 lenses do most of what I want anyway.